In the world heritage site of Sassi Di Matera (stones of Matera) of southern Italy, prehistoric homes are carved into the stone escarpment where a curious blend of stunning views of the Gravina Canyon district and archaeological park, and structures erected from the earth define a unique historical landscape.
‘Italian architect Domenico Fiore has recently completed the ‘Basiliani Hotel‘ which occupies a renovated chain of houses half carved out of the ground and half built upon with local tufo stone. The hotel covers a total of three interspersed levels that respect the original grade changes of the site, with a restored exterior that allows multiple points of access through the original doors and small courtyards spread throughout the complex. from the exterior, the project’s scope is invisible to naked eye, situated discretely within twelve indigenous dwellings.
The interior exhibits a more involved strategy between old and new. The stone masonry walls and barrel vaulted ceilings are covered in a layer of white paint that protects the aging construction and reflects plenty of natural light into the cavernous spaces without concealing the treasured forms and textures. A simple recyclable material palette makes up the remainder of the interventions: wood, steel and glass rendered in basic colors. thin timber stairs with metal handrails connect loft spaces without a heavy physical or visual imposition into the space. the organic crumbling floor is covered at times with dark smooth tiles creating a pleasant contrast, and at others simply covered with a structural glass floor that allows the user to float above the original bell-shaped water cisterns dug into the ground. black, white, and red fixtures create an interior unity between the cafe and rooms and stand
clearly separate from the existing constructions.’